It is the twenty-ninth century and the universe of the Human Hegemony is under threat. Invasion by the warlike rebel Ousters looms, and the mysterious schemes of the secessionist Al TechnoCore bring chaos even closer.
On the eve of disaster, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to the legendary Time Tombs on Hyperion, home to the Shrike, a lethal creature, part god and part killing machine, whose powers transcend the limits of time and space. Like another fabled group of pilgrims, each traveller shares his story with his fellows, seeking answers to the unsolved riddles of all their lives. And they have resolved to die before discovering anything less than the secrets of the universe itself.